LUBBOCK, Texas – Head coach Tom Stone announced Wednesday the promotion of No. 1 Assistant Coach Gibbs Keeton to Associate Head Coach. The elevation is Keeton's second in two years.
"He's been involved in every single aspect of what we do," said Stone of Keeton, who will be going on his 10th year by Stone's side. "We've had other associate head coaches, and it was time for Gibbs to have that opportunity to let the country know that he's achieved it and he's earned it. It doesn't change his role because he's already involved in everything; it's a validation of what he's done here."
"Being named Associate Head Coach at such a special time in our athletic department is an incredible honor," Keeton said. "I want to thank Tom for allowing me professional growth and a platform to impact and serve our student-athletes over the last ten years."
Keeton, who started with the Tech soccer program as a volunteer, has been instrumental to building a stingy Red Raider defense. Last season, the Red Raiders shut out 14 teams – the most in the Big 12 – and posted a .636 shutout percentage. His goalkeepers, whom he also coaches, allowed just 0.53 goals per game, ranking second in program history and again leading the conference.
His keepers, some of the best in program history, find their names littered throughout the Tech record books: Victoria Esson, Lauren Watson, and now, current starter Marissa Zucchetto, who was the conference's top goalkeeper last season as a sophomore. Both Esson and Watson graduated Tech and have since found themselves playing professionally.
"Gibbs is the best coach I have ever had," Watson said. "Not only is he extremely talented at his job, but he really cares about the athletes he works with. He does so much behind the scenes that nobody knows about because he wants to prepare his players to play to the best of their abilities."
Stone believes Keeton's success at Tech is driven by the passion he has for the school, his alma mater.
"He went to school here," Stone said. "He got his master's degree here, he was a professor here while he was our volunteer assistant. This is his alma mater, and there is a passion there that is evident in everything that he does."
"Texas Tech is where I want to be," said Keeton. "I want to continue to push this program towards greater success."
Keeton, who holds a United States Soccer Federation 'B' license, earned his undergraduate degree in health, exercise and sports science from Texas Tech before receiving his master's degree in exercise physiology — also from Texas Tech. While a volunteer assistant, he was a professor in Texas Tech's Department of Health, Exercise and Sports Sciences.
Tech's 2019 campaign will begin as usual with an exhibition trip to Denver, which is set for Aug. 17. The Red Raiders will turn around and hit the road the following week for a two-game trip to San Diego State (Aug. 22) and New Mexico (Aug. 25). Tech fans' first chance to see the squad in action at home will be Aug. 30 when the Red Raiders return for a Friday night showdown with Oral Roberts.